June 22, 2017

Uber diversity chief says harassment report is ‘first step of many’ in fixing the company’s culture

Photo of LG Smartphone with UBER logotype on the screen. Selective focus.
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On the same day Uber announced it dismissed 20 employees due to harassment claims, the guy in charge of diversity at the company said the latest report was “the first step of many” to improve culture at the company.

“I’m kind of excited to see some progress… I want to make Uber a better and better place to work,” Uber head of global diversity and inclusion Bernard Coleman said at TC Sessions: Justice today.

Coleman joined Uber in January , shortly before former engineer Susan Fowler publicly accused the company of rampant sexual harassment and human resources negligence in a Medium post. That post kicked off a firestorm of negative publicity for Uber and led to multiple investigations into Uber’s human resources operations.

But for Coleman, who was new on the job, the post came at a particularly fraught time. He was and his family were still living in Virginia at the time, he had sold his house and was just about to move across the country when he heard about the blog post.

“I felt terrible for a number of reasons,” Coleman said, noting that he felt helpless in part because he wasn’t physically in San Francisco when those claims were made.

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